older adults, health, dance, physical activity
Recent surveys suggest that, although they seem to understand its value and importance (Ory et al., 2003), less than a quarter of all older adults get the recommended amount of exercise (Statistics Canada, 2005). It is possible that the majority of exercise programs currently available are traditional and gym-based, offering limited ways of encouraging active engagement that may not be appealing to many older adults. In recent years, the benefits of dance programs that incorporate flexibility and balance training have been explored. The current pilot project examined the potential for dance training to be considered an innovative health promotion strategy, one that encourages healthy aging and helps to maintain functional autonomy. Older adults from the Village of Humber Heights participated in 12 weeks of ballet and contemporary dance training. Pre- and post-dance training physical (flexibility, agility, muscular endurance and balance) measures were gathered. In addition, participants were invited to write in a journal for the duration of the dance training; this allowed the researchers to identify potential internal and external barriers to inclusion in physical activity (e.g., self limiting beliefs, stereotypes and/or lack of opportunity).
Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC)
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Original Publication Citation
Spadafora, P., Dupuis, K., Saunders-Herron, G., Skimin, P., Hiscock, A., (2009). Movement Matters: Results of an Introductory Dance Project at the Village of Humber Heights - Report Series # 16. [Report]. Oakville: Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC).
Spadafora, Pat; Dupuis, Kate; Saunders-Herron, Gillian; Skimin, Paula; and Hiscock, Ashley, "Movement Matters: Results of an Introductory Dance Project at the Village of Humber Heights - Report Series # 16" (2009). Centre Publications and Scholarship. 17.